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Methodology 2018-19

Stages of the LM CC research study

The LM CC project began informally in the spring of 2018 with the initial sandbox collection of 70 job descriptions. Our hope was to use job descriptions to identify the key skills in localization management required by localization employers. Similarly to research conducted by Adam Wooten, we then hoped to organize skills according to competence areas. (See Key Competences for Localization Managers: What Adam Wooten has to say…).

In the fall of 2018, the analysis of the initial job description collection was expanded thanks in part to a Wyckoff award. The Wyckoff award funded a Graduate Research Assistant on the project for the academic year. GRA Cheng Qian joined the project and analyzed 45 of the 70 job descriptions in the collection.

Job description analysis: parallel methodologies

To analyze job descriptions, the initial corpus was imported into a memoQ project with a corresponding termbase. As many individual skills as possible were tagged from each job description, by highlighting the text associated with the skill, adding the skill to the termbase as a “new term,” and then noting the competence area with which the skill corresponds in the target entry for the term.

Adding an individual skill to the termbase
Defining the competence area of an individual skill

Upon analysis completion, we cleaned up our termbase, and exported an Excel database to begin our next stage of analysis: categorizing skills. Our first stage of analysis was not without challenges!

Example memoQ job descriptions termbase with skills in the left column
and competence areas in the right column

In the meantime, methodology two of job description analysis

While Cheng was analyzing 45 job descriptions, groups students in the fall 2018 rendition of the LPM class worked to analyze the other 25 job descriptions. In groups, students were assigned a job description, and analyzed their description following the pictured worksheet. Their work was transferred to an additional Excel database for further analysis!

Job description analysis worksheet completed by groups
in the fall 2018 rendition of TRLM 8530 Localization Project Management

After we completed our analysis activity as a class, we asked ourselves these questions…

  • How did the format skills classification worksheet influence how you worked with the data? Did we only identify up to eight categories per group since there was only provided space for eight?
  • What were the general impressions of the job description(s) they worked with?
  • What intuitions did students have, if any, about the culture of the company whose job description(s) they examined?
  • What are your highest priority competencies and skills to develop?

On to data harmonization!

Our research study underwent major shifts as we moved to continue building capacity for the project in the spring of 2019.

We standardized the procedure for job description collection and data archiving with the creation of the TILM corpora which houses LM CC job descriptions collection corpora. (See the section “Submit analysis of a job description” of the page How you can help, which references the TILM corpora and outlines the procedure for submitting job descriptions to the LM CC job descriptions collection.) Students in TRLM 8631 Advanced Localization Project Management submitted a new batch of job descriptions to the corpus following our standardized procedures. Students in this class also piloted our industry survey, called “Core Competencies of the LPM.”

To create our industry survey, which seeks to collect the opinions of a wide range of industry stakeholders on the core competences necessary for the professional practice of localization management, we first needed to harmonize all of our data!

Readers will recall that our methodology included the development of two databases of LPM skills. The first, by Cheng Qian, identifies over 450 unique skills; and the second, by 8530 Localization Project Management, identifies nearly 1000 skills for a total of approximately 1500 skills for harmonization! These skills are still being harmonized into the core competences for the professional of localization management in a third database today!

Our harmonization work is in progress and has produced the draft typology of the core competences of localization management currently available on our this site.1 We plan to survey the industry on this typology in the fall of 2019.

1 Our typology was first presented to the industry in Alaina Brandt’s keynote address, “Training Translation and Localization Professionals in the Era of AI,” at the WITTA TTES Forum 2019 in Xi’an, China.

Our trajectory

Upcoming stages in our trajectory

The trajectory of our project is as follows. A new corpus of job descriptions will be collected and analyzed by students in the fall 2019 rendition of TRLM 8530 Localization Project Management. Based on that analysis, we’ll continue expanding our typology, which will be presented to the industry in a survey in September of 2019. In October, we’ll continue our evangelization for the industry-wide standardization of the competencies required for the professional practice of localization management in the presentation, “Standardized Competencies for Professional Localization Project Management Practice,” at the 60th Annual Conference of the American Translators Association.

Sites DOT MIISThe Middlebury Institute site network.